Marvellous Motherwell took the points with a 3-1 win at Easter Road. Set piece goals came from Sean Goss with two from Kevin van Veen.
Mikael Mandron filled in for the suspended Callum Slattery as Motherwell lined up with a switch to a 4-4-2 shape. Hibs kicked off but it was the visitors that took early charge as they camped in the Famous Five end.
The reward came after 7 minutes. Kevin van Veen fluffed a chance but from the rebound a high boot on Dean Cornerlius led to a free kick just outside the box and a booking for Doyle-Hayes. Van Veen and Sean Goss hovered over the dead ball before the midfielder saw his shot clip the underside of the bar and give the travelling fans an early boost.
Hibs then joined the fray and the game began to flow from end to end. Liam Kelly made his only save of the first half when, at full stretch, he tipped Nisbet’s header over the bar.
Motherwell look more likely to score and van Veen had another chance when he latched on to Butcher’s long ball but although his flick beat Marshall it missed the far post by inches.
The lead was doubled ten minutes into the second period. The home defence failed to clear a corner and the ball was returned to the area. Spittal chased the ball and got a touch only to be clattered by Marshall. The referee pointed to the spot and booked the ‘keeper. Van Veen stepped up and fired low. Marshall got to the ball but it trundled over the line.
Kevin Nisbet headed a Cadden cross into the net just after the hour and with an attack enlarged by substitutions they set about finding an equaliser. The character of Motherwell’s players was well tested as wave after wave was repulsed.
Harry Paton made his debut when he replaced Spittal shortly after the penalty and he was to made an important contribution. His breakaway run was ended illegally and a free kick followed 25 yards out.
Van Veen took the kick and ended the contest as Marshall was beaten at his far post. The striker exchanged greetings with him before celebrating with his team-mates.
Despite six added minutes the defence held firm to record a fine win that completes a run of 13 points from a possible 18 under new manager Stuart Kettlewell. Happy day!
Hibs 1 Motherwell 3
Team: Kelly, Johnston, Casey, Butcher, McGinn, Furlong (O’Donnell 84), Spittall (Paton 57), Goss, Cornelius, Mandron (Aitchison 66), Van Veen
Saturday 1 April 2023